Drawing a helix

 Is there a way to draw a helix in X3?  It is not evident to me and a search does not turn it up.

Alternatively, I could draw a helix in MatLab (or such) and import it, but what file format would make it manipulable in X3?

Thanks for your help.

Reed Wickner 

14 Replies - Latest Reply

  • Hi Reed 

    It would be editable as bezier curves (or line segments depending on how matlab exports it).

    You could draw it in Draw too, using the bezier tool, but it wouldn't be mathematically accurate.  I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for though since a helix is a 3d shape (do you want it viewed straight on, or from an angle, should it have perspective, etc.).  Alternatively, you could write a vb script to generate it. 


  • In reply to Hendrik Wagenaar:

    Here's a short tutorial I draw for someone in the newsgroups a while back (click to view in full size)

    [edited by: Hendrik Wagenaar at 8:31 (GMT -7) on Fri, Feb 15 2008]
  • In reply to Hendrik Wagenaar:

    I recently purchased X5 because I need to do better technical illustrations for training materials.  My first project is an electrical coil (without a core) so I tried to follow your instructions.  There is apparently some brand of magic required which I don't have.  I got this far on my ninth try.  (I hope there is an attachment here.)  Some of your steps did not make any sense to me or X5 - the help function could not find anything that fitted with some of your instructions.  It won't fill. 1104.Coil.ai



    Any guidance you can offer will be welcomed.

  • In reply to Lindsay Scott:

    You seem to have tiny gaps and overlapping curves all over, which is preventing the smart fill from operating correctly.  I guess when I made mine, I held control to move the node straight up, and used snapping to ensure that everything fit together.  I do this without thinking about it, so I may have left it out of my instructions.

    I've attached a cdr with a helix, and hopefully clearer steps.  you can use it, or try to recreate your own.  I have to admit, this is one of the tougher shapes to build.

    [edited by: Hendrik Wagenaar at 16:39 (GMT -5) on Fri, Apr 9 2010]
  • In reply to Hendrik Wagenaar:

    Hi Hendrik,

    I too am struggling with the helix.

    Could you send me the cdr + steps.

    Thanks in anticipation

  • In reply to adpierce:

    Hi there,

    You don't need anyone to send it, the sample file Hendrik mentioned is still available in his post from Apr. 2010.  Just click the link 'helix.cdr' (under his name at the top of the message) and save it.

    Hope it helps

  • In reply to Hendrik Wagenaar:

    Hendrik Wagenaar

    Here's a short tutorial I draw for someone in the newsgroups a while back (click to view in full size)



    Thanks a lot Hendrik Yes


  • In reply to Andrew:

    Hi Andrew,


    i did this (and also again just now).

    I download a 91.3kb file but when I open it all I see is a blank page and nothing is selectable so not hidden either.

    I am using X3.


  • In reply to adpierce:

    Try this one. It opened ok in X5 so I decided to save a copy back to v13.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    Hi Andrew,

    thanks, it opened fine and I was able to follow the instructions.

    I have done the drawing I wanted but am having problems with the fill.

    I have attached what I have done.  When I try to smart fill the last element it isn't restricted.  Any ideas?



    adp helix.cdr
  • In reply to adpierce:

    I'm not exactly certain why that part doesn't fill like the rest of it does.

    My first thought was that, while all the lines appear connected by sight they are not actually connected by their nodes into closed shapes. But that is also true of portions that seemed to fill as expected, so I'm not really certain.

    Maybe someone else will see this and can provide additional info.

  • In reply to adpierce:

    curve is not closed, when connected points (in red circle) then is possible to use smart fill


    adp helix_18.06.2011.cdr
  • In reply to Mek:

    HI Mek,

    thanks for that.

    How did you know they weren't closed or is it a case of working your way around and checking whether its one or two nodes?



  • In reply to adpierce:


    tried to use smart fill and got result you can see on left side of attached picture so then selected curve and displayed nodes.

    Best regards,